In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly set aside June 27 as the day to globally celebrate all micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), recognising their significant contribution to local, national and global economies. MSMEs account for more than 90% of all businesses in sub-Saharan Africa, and around 70% of jobs worldwide, according to data provided by the World Bank Group and International Trade Centre respectively. These enterprises play a pivotal role in stimulating economic growth and provide employment and income generation opportunities to millions of people around the world.
While there are various factors that contribute to air pollution, studies have shown that industries and factories such as tanneries are often prime factors in air pollution. According to the University of Nairobi Prof. Francis Mulaa, the tannery process is lengthy and very polluting to the environment because of harsh chemicals such as sulfur that are used to accelerate rotting to remove hair from the skins. “As a result, people associate tanneries with a foul smell and not the end products made from the leather,” he says.
Ms. Gloria Kuhumba is a researcher in food biotechnology from Tanzania and one of the 12 pioneer group of BioInnovate Africa women scientists’ fellows. Her four-month fellowship was on our project that aims to unlock the commercial potential of new sorghum and millet products for improved nutrition and socio-economic gains in Eastern Africa.Read more
BioInnovate Africa and the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) of the World Bank-funded Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF), which are both icipe programmes, in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovations (CERHI) of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) jointly organized a workshop on ‘Strengthening innovation ecosystems in universities in West and Central Africa’ held on 29-30 April 2019 in Benin City, Nigeria.Read more
Smallholder farmers in eastern Africa produce a diverse variety of fruits and vegetables that have unique nutritional and economic value. However, the value that can be derived from these crops is adversely reduced due to postharvest losses, seasonal production, limited value addition and challenges in market access. This in turn compromises food security and economic empowerment in the region. The use of affordable food preservation technologies has the potential to reduce postharvest losses by up to 68%.
For agricultural economist, Diana Asero, the BioInnovate Africa fellowship, with the guidance of Prof Arnold Onyango, gave her an in depth and hands-on experience in the process of product development and market surveys of value-added fruits and vegetable bioproducts from the Refractance window drier. In the four months that she spent at the Food and Technology Department of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology (JKUAT), Kenya, Diana was able to develop dried fruit snacks from papayas, pineapples and mangoes. Additionally, she also carried out a market survey to gain customer feedback on the products. She describes her experience: